The Uyghur Muslims have been going through inhuman sufferings and tribulations for years. -Agency
News of state brutality against Uyghur Muslims in China is not new. Over the years, various international news agencies and organizations, including Al Jazeera, The Economist, The Guardian, CNN, BBC, Amnesty International and the UN Human Rights Commission have been reporting on various forms of persecution. But the news that the Chinese government has recently added a new version of torture is not only an extreme form of cruelty, it is unprecedented in world history.
One of the three new versions of the persecution is to force Chinese Uyghur Muslim women into permanent infertility so that they can never increase their population by having children. Not only drugs and hormones are being used in the sterilization process, but also the surgical method is being used, forcing pregnant women to have abortions. Through another method of torture, the Chinese government is cutting the hair of Uyghur Muslim women and exporting it abroad.
The U.S. government recently seized a consignment of hair-making materials, which were exported from China. Another added form of torture is to send Chinese men to rape a Muslim woman whose husband is in a concentration camp. Earlier reports said that at least one million Uyghur Muslims were being held captive and forced to renounce their religion in addition to various forms of physical and mental torture. Many Muslims have been convicted and hanged by Kangaroo courts, many women have been raped, arrangements have been made to prevent Muslims from praying, many mosques have been closed, and Muslims have been prevented from offering Tarabeeh Namaaz, and Hajj has been banned.
In many countries of the world, people of different religions and castes are being tortured through riots. But there are very few instances of genocide by the government, which is happening in China. There is no precedent for forced sterilization and export of forcibly cut hair of women. Forced infertility falls under the definition of genocide in international law. The UN-sponsored Genocide Convention, which was held on December 9, 1948, defined genocide by forced Sterilization. The definition of genocide further includes severe physical and mental torture.
Cutting women's hair is definitely a serious psychological abuse. Thus the Chinese government's multiple methods of torture fall within the definition of genocide. The Convention states that all parties to the Convention shall, in their own country or by an international tribunal, provide for the trial of genocide, and that the provisions of this Convention shall be bound by the laws of their respective countries.
Since the convention was signed by the Chiang Kai-shek government in 1948, before the Chinese Socialist Revolution, the convention is binding on present-day China. The Rome Statute of 1998, which formed the International Criminal Court, also provided the same definition of genocide. But since China is not part of the Rome Agreement, it cannot be dragged to the International Court of Justice.
The persecution of Muslims began in the 1990s. However, the list of victims was lengthened after the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Many Uyghur Muslims were then jailed. Many of them were killed when the police opened fire on them in 2013. In recent years, the nature and extent of torture has gradually increased. In 2016, current Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a number of torture experts to crack down on Muslims in the Xinjiang region. Additionally, torture included sterilization, haircuts, rape, banning the use of Arabic-Turkish characters, banning Muslim government employees from fasting, halting Hajj, closing mosques and forcing them to convert and leave religion. The world media, Amnesty, the UN Human Rights Commission have widely covered this news.
Ethnographically Uyghurs are mainly Caucasians or Aryans, but also have a mixture of Mongolian blood. They are so close to the Turks that many anthropologists believe that the Uyghurs are a branch of the Turkish nation. Many call Uyghur language as Turkish because of its close resemblance to Turkish. At one time they were called the Turkish Muslims of Xinjiang. Aryan signs are evident in their appearance and shape. They are white, well developed and have a sharp nose. However, the effect of Mongolians is also observed.
The mixture of Aryan Mongolians that we see in the pictures of the Mughal emperors (hand-painted) is much like that. The researchers said that their blood contains 60% European, 40% Siberian and West Asian mixture. In the 4th century, they inhabited the Trial Valley, which was part of the Turkish Confederation. In 840, due to civil war and famine, they left Turkey and took refuge in Mongolia. But a few years later, in 842, they settled in the Tarin Valley and the Takla Makan Desert. The region has been ruled by China, Tibet and Mongolia in the past. Later they started living in Xinjiang area.
They started converting to Islam in the tenth century. Originally their name was Alfishari. According to the decision of the 1921 Tashkent Turkish Muslim Conference, they adopted the name Uyghur. Many Uyghurs live in Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and even Pakistan. However, most of them are in China, where 12 million Uyghurs live. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, Uyghur Muslims demanded independent Xinjiang for them. According to a report by Amnesty International, the Chinese police then brutally attacked the Uyghurs.
In many countries, riots on the basis of religion and caste have resulted in the bloodshed of many innocent people. But there are not many instances of genocide by the state. One of the two burning examples is Myanmar, the other is China. The Rohingya Muslim genocide would not have been possible if China and Russia had not repeatedly voted for them in the Security Council. Around the world, China and Russia are their allies and China is openly supporting Myanmar because China has commercial and strategic interests in Rakhine region. A few years ago, the Sri Lankan government killed many Tamils. Genocide by the state has taken place in the Philippines. However, China occupied Tibet in 1950 and killed one million Buddhists. Heinrich Harrer, an Australian researcher, wrote this in his book 'Seven Years in Tibet'.
Unnecessary bloodshed, wherever it is, is an extreme blow to humanity. And if it is a state-run genocide, what could be worse than that? But the sad but true fact is that Muslim countries are largely silent on the genocide perpetrated by the Chinese government. Recently, Britain's liberal moral Guardian magazine tried to explain the reasons for their silence. Those researching the persecution and genocide of Uyghur Muslims, including the Guardian, believe that China is trapping poor countries and Muslim countries in the name of grants.
Clever China is implementing the plan by showing a bag of money to the poor countries by adopting Chanakya formula. Many poor countries are falling prey to greed. They are losing to China's plot. In their greed for money, they are taking advantage of what China is giving them without thinking about repaying the loan. That is why China wants to trap the countries. In this way, China created such a situation by giving huge loans to Sri Lanka that Sri Lanka failed to repay the loan and was forced to lease a port to China for 99 years.
China is making similar progress in the Maldives. China has set up military bases in Djibouti, an African country, saying it is needed to protect Chinese investment there. Western countries have been silent for so long, even though the media and human rights activists are already vocal.
The reason for the silence in the Western world for so long was China's money and trade interests with China. Lately, however, they have become apprehensive about China's aggressive role. Meanwhile, the United States has imposed sanctions on Chinese officials who persecute Uyghurs. Although genocide is not currently being perpetrated by the United States, the country's human rights record is reprehensible. When Muslims are persecuted in different countries, many people in our country take to the streets in protest. Surprisingly, despite the news of such a heinous genocide in China, there is no precedent in the world except Myanmar.
Those who are supposed to protest in our country are keeping their mouths shut. Not only is China itself engaged in persecuting Muslims, the killing of Rohingya in Myanmar would have stopped long ago without China's support. Asked why he kept his mouth shut when he heard the news of the Muslim genocide in China, one Huzoor said, "They are Chinese Muslims, not like us." Hearing his response, it seemed that they marched in the streets with slogans for political purposes, not for religious or humanitarian reasons. The Guardian reported the same day that Muslim-majority countries speak only when it is in their best interests. The Guardian wants to say that they are not saying anything against China, thinking that angering China will hurt those countries financially. However, European countries, realizing China's intentions, are now avoiding the policy of flattery.
At the same time, they are speaking out against the Uyghur Muslim genocide. As Pakistan is China's only ally in the world, it is unthinkable that they would speak out against China. So when Prime Minister Imran Khan was asked about the persecution and genocide of Muslims in China, he replied that he did not know anything about it. However, if Imran Khan, the nephew of General Niazi, one of the most heinous genocidal in the world, says anything against the genocide, it will be next to impossible.
The writer is a retired Judge of Supreme Court.
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